It was an evening dip that swept away a promising future.
Bronx resident Oscar Cruz and his longtime sweetheart, Diana Sanchez, waded into the water off Rockaway Beach around 8:30 p.m. on Friday. But when a wave toppled them, he never came up, according to the New York Daily News.
"They went under. She surfaced; he didn't. She was screaming for help," Cruz's grief-stricken friend, Stephanie Perez, 20, said yesterday.
It took good Samaritans 15 minutes to pull Cruz to shore at Beach 116th St. and Rockaway Beach Blvd., his friends said.
Paramedics then rushed him to Peninsula Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No lifeguards were on duty at the time of the drowning.
"His girlfriend saw him die in her arms," Perez said. "She was saying that it was her fault, that she was supposed to wake up next to him today."